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What if money grew on trees? RaboDirect reveals all

24 May 2010  |  5415 views  |  0 cash

RaboDirect sponsored a ground breaking experiment to see how Australians really react when presented with the ultimate financial fantasy - a money tree.

The 'money tree' contained A$5 notes and unsuspecting passers-by were secretly filmed.

In the early stages, almost 100 people passed the tree without noticing that anything was different. Even when a group of joggers noticed, they were too busy to stop. The first groups who eventually stopped to interact couldn't believe it. They inspected the notes and took pictures, but left empty handed.

The bank asked a psychologist and financial decision-making expert to closely monitor and analyse the responses of passers-by to this unexpected phenomenon.

Only once one brave participant started taking the money, did momentum gather. Some took just one or two notes, satisfied by their modest and unexpected gains, while others stuffed their pockets with notes.

When the low hanging A$5 notes were depleted, people employed swinging coats and umbrellas to help them reach higher branches. Teamwork also came into play as spectators formed human pyramids to reach the higher notes.

Taller participants shared their earnings with shorter spectators, while one gentleman on identifying the undercover observation team, requested his money be donated to charity.

"We were surprised by the results when compared to the way people treat their savings, which often sit idle in their transaction accounts," says the bank. "Much like the A$4.7 billion in potential savings Australians are missing out on in lost interest, the majority were unfazed when presented with money actually growing on a tree."

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